Two Poems, by R.L. Swihart.


She left a century's old
book of poems on the chaise lounge

She pigeonholed an unfinished letter
into the scroll top desk

She checked speech at the door

Once bedside she used her gaze
much like a lighthouse would use its light

He saw it

An eagle's wing lifted and she
scrambled in



Hook line and sinker
I swallowed her version
of things past-

As though the transmigrant Proust
had embodied her
and forgotten his pad
and pencil-

Gods and monsters-
abhorent to the modern
brimmed full our glass
of hours

R.L. Swihart studied Engineering at the University of Michigan, Theology at Grace Theological Seminary, Near Eastern Languages/Culture and Education at UCLA. He teaches Math to inner-city Los Angelinos at the Thomas Jefferson High School in L.A. His major influences, "mostly dead guys:" Samuel Beckett, Max Frisch, Thomas Mann, Tolstoy, Nabokov, Rilke, Celan, Zbigniew Herbert.
His work has appeared in The Melic Review, 3rd Muse, Samsara Quarterly, The Drunken Boat, Conspire, Poet's Canvas and Stirring.

"A recurrent dream: being elsewhere."


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